Afghanistan says 36 IS militants killed by 'mother of all bombs'

Afghanistan says 36 IS militants killed by 'mother of all bombs'

The US attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed at least four IS group leaders, Mr Khogyani said.

"We will use whatever force that is available to us", Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Radmanesh, said following the strike.

The initial toll given by Afghan officials for Thursday's strike was 36.

The Islamic State group's Aamaq news agency denied that any of its fighters were killed or wounded, citing a source within the group. That number is yet to be independently verified.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was unleashed by USA in combat for the first time Thursday, hitting IS positions in a remote area of eastern Nangarhar province.

According to Washington, the MOAB was dropped to destroy a system of underground tunnels and caves in Nangarhar, thought to be used by Daesh terrorists.

Spicer said the bomb was dropped at around 7 p.m. local time and described it as "a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon". It is regarded as particularly effective against clusters of targets on or just underneath the ground. It was so massive it had to be dropped from the rear of a cargo plane, said the Pentagon.

US Forces-Afghanistan Commander General John Nicholson has said that Thurday night's strike in Achin district in Nangarhar was part of their campaign to destroy ISIS in Afghanistan in 2017.

"It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield", the officer said, Reuters reported Friday.

The United States, as part of its counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, has been helping Afghan forces battle the local ISIS branch known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province since previous year.

But former President Hamid Karzai accused the United States of using Afghanistan as "a testing ground for new and unsafe weapons".

Trump called the operation "another successful event" before declining to say whether he approved the massive weapon's use. As for whether the USA should be bombing Afghanistan, that is another question altogether.

This time last week we were talking about the launch of missiles in Syria. "It was an earsplitting blast", said Shah Wali, 46, who lives in the village of Goor Gari, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Nangarhar.

"We were all scared, and my children and my wife were crying. Initially we thought it was an natural disaster, but a day later we came to know that the United States had dropped a bomb in the Afghan side of the territory".

"If big bombs were the solution we would be the most secure place on earth today", he tweeted.

Family of one of the missing youths said that he was killed in MOAB strike in Afghanistan, tweeted ANI.

The US maintains over 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counter-terrorism operations.

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